Augusta, Maine – April 10, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) – The arrival of warmer weather marks the start of another busy construction season. As the agency charged with enforcing safe digging practices in Maine, the Maine Public Utilities Commission (“Commission”) is urging all those who dig to take advantage of the resources available in Maine that will help avoid costly and dangerous damage to underground utility facilities.
“Striking an underground facility can often result in personal injury, service interruption and significant property damage” said Mark Vannoy, Chairman of the Commission. “This April marks the eighth annual National Safe Digging Month, and we are reminding Maine residents to always call 811 at least three business days before any digging project.” When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to Dig Safe, Inc., the local one call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both. The risk of digging without calling first is real — every six minutes an underground utility line in the United States is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.
Striking even a single line can cause serious injury, repair costs, and interruption of essential services, and can result in fines. Every digging project that involves mechanical equipment, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, and planting a tree or garden are all examples of digging projects that should only begin after a call to 811. By calling 811 to have the underground utility lines in their area marked, homeowners and professionals are making an important decision that can help keep them and their communities safe and connected. The Commission encourages Maine residents to visit www.digsafe.com or www.call811.com for more information about digging safely.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission regulates electric, telephone, water and gas utilities to ensure that Maine citizens have access to safe and reliable utility service at rates that are just and reasonable for all ratepayers. Commission programs include Maine Enhanced 911 Service, and Dig Safe.